NBA star Jeremy Lin (林書豪) yesterday thanked his fans in Taiwan for all the wonderful moments he had this summer, adding that he hoped to visit Taiwan next year and coach more young players.
During his stay in Taiwan over the past week, Lin’s appearance in events hosted by different sponsors drew big crowds and media attention. He ended his trip on Sunday, after giving a speech at a Christian conference at the Sinchuang Stadium in New Taipei City (新北市).
Titled “The Night for Jeremy Lin’s Miracle (林書豪 “神蹟” 之夜),” the conference drew about 7,000 participants. The organizer also put up a large screen outside the stadium for those who were unable to get a seat inside the venue. Christians from 700 churches around the nation also heard Lin’s speech through a simulcast over the Internet.
In his speech, Lin said that he had not always been an obedient kid, recalling how he would bang his head on a wall as a way of getting whatever he wanted from his parents.
“I ended up getting a lot of things because I did that. After about a-year-and-a-half, my parents got fed up with it. I got mad one day, and my mom came over, took my head and helped me slam it into the wall,” he said.
While the contract with the Golden State Warriors attracted a lot of media attention, the excitement quickly faded as his first NBA year started.
“As many of you know, I had a terrible rookie year. I never played except in blowouts. Even when I did get in, I never played well and I got sent to the D-League [The NBA Development League] three times,” he said.
“The D-League was definitely the toughest time in my career. I felt I could lose my job with one bad game. I was actually so stressed I could not eat or sleep the day before or the day of each game,” he said.
He was waived by the Warriors and picked up by Houston Rockets, who already had six point guards. While the latter intended to keep Lin by trading other players, it eventually decided to waive him when the plan failed to come through.
Lin was eventually traded to the New York Knicks and had to experience the NBA lockout like every other player did.
In February this year, he said he had heard rumors that the Knicks had planned to waive him again.
“I told myself that if that happened, I would either take a year off from basketball or I quit altogether,” he said.
“On Feb.4, New York played the New Jersey Nets. That was my breakout game. I remember thinking it might be my last game. By the end of the game, I was on the court screaming. After the game, when I went to shower, I was crying tears of joy,” he said.
Since that game, the Knicks won seven games in a row and “Linsanity” began.
Many commentators have their theories about “Linsanity,” but Lin has made a list of 13 things he said “had to happen” for his success to occur, such as his father’s move to the US, which started his love for the game of basketball and that Lin inherited the genes that allowed him to be only one in his family with a 1.93m stature.
Lin also listed as an important factor for his success that he was able to play his breakout game against New Jersey Nets after two of his teammates — Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony — were unable to play.
“It’s easy to say all things work out for the best after the season that I had,” he said, citing his favorite verse in the book of Romans.